Daycare owner accused of murdering two-year-old girl

Yahoo News Staff
·2-min read

A daycare centre employee has been charged with murder after a toddler died while in her care.

Jessica Cherry, 37, from the US state of Virginia, has been charged with second-degree murder after Kaylee Thomas, 2, died on August 18, Norfolk Police said.

Cherry was running an unlicensed child care facility, 10 WAVY reported. Kaylee was found unresponsive and rushed to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

It’s not clear how Kaylee died and the Norfolk Medical Examiner’s Office said in September her cause of death was pending.

Her death was on Tuesday ruled by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Norfolk as a homicide.

Kaylee Thomas, 2, is pictured alongside Jessica Cherry, 37.
Kaylee Thomas, 2, died while in the care of Jessica Cherry, 37. Source: Metropolitan Funeral Service and Norfolk Police

Police are also looking into the death of a one-year-old boy who died in hospital in 2020, four days after he was found unresponsive at the same address. The medical examiner’s office hasn’t released his cause of death.

Prosecutors have shown the court footage from a Ring camera inside Cherry’s home where it’s alleged she’s seen slapping an infant and covering another baby’s nose and mouth tightly with a cloth before leaving the room.

Cherry is currently being held without bond.

In an obituary, Kaylee, or “Boo” as her family called her, was remembered as “a beautiful soul”.

“To know Kaylee, is to know love,” her obituary reads.

“She was the sweetest child and most loving daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, cousin, and friend that anyone could ask for. She was such a busy body, ready for the world, but unfortunately, the world wasn’t ready for her.

“We love and miss you more than you will ever know Boo! Kaylee was free and she had a smile that melted anyone’s heart. Although her life was short lived, she will forever be in our hearts.”

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